The modern barber pole originated in the days when bloodletting was one of the principal duties of the barber. The two spiral ribbons painted around the pole represent the two long bandages, one twisted around the arm before bleeding, and the other used to bind is afterward. Originally, when not in use, the pole with a bandage wound around it, so that both might be together when needed, was hung at the door as a sign. But later, for convenience, instead of hanging out the original pole, another one was painted in imitation of it and given a permanent place on the outside of the shop. This was the beginning of the modern barber pole.
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